Common mistakes getting a mining job

I have been asked to talk about common mistakes I think people make when trying to get their first mining job. I’ve come up with 3 that I think cover most mistakes, now I’m not going to insult your intelligence, there are many, many ways people stuff this up for themselves. However, I do believe if you can correct these 3 things you will increase your chances many times in getting your first mining job.

Problem 1

The first and by far the biggest mistake is how everyone projects what they think the mining employers want. In most cases it turns out not to be what the mining employers actually wants at all. Lots of people think the employers want someone that has experience in the seat and tickets. Tickets, the amount of money people spend on getting these things is unreal, when they are totally useless to the mining employer as they will have to issue their own tickets for their mine site. It seems that Australians are used to having formal qualifications with most industries now having standard training through a Tafe or another training centre. Mining is not one of these industries, it has a very complex structure that doesn’t allow for the transfer of “tickets”. To be honest this shows the employer the lack of a mining education that this person has. They have not educated themselves in how the industry works correctly.

Australians go down this path because of the formal qualifications on offer. Even though these qualifications are in fact for the construction industry, not the mining industry. People get sucked into these 3-day truck driving courses because people think this is what the employers want...tickets. Yet no one gets a job, it’s just not the training the employer wants and anyone that knows anything about the industry instantly knows why the employers don’t want these people with their 3 day “tickets”.

So what does the employer want? If I asked you to go and get 27 split sets, plates and 4 bits of mesh and take them down to level 27 and give the jumbo operator a hand to install the support, would you know what I was talking about? Probably not, however if you can answer this question in an interview you will have a good chance of getting yourself a job. This is the type of training that the employer is looking for in a new starter. Over the last 5 years I have seen 100's of people make this approach work for them in getting their first mining job.

I like to call it giving the employer a third option, rather than experienced or knowing nothing at all. It has been shown time and time again, that if you can supply a person that has been trained in how the mine works and the jobs that are performed, to the standard that the person can answer questions like the one above in an interview, then the employer will hire!

Problem 2

The second mistake is peoples resume, this is the only thing you can use to get your foot in the door for an interview, so it needs to be mining friendly. However paying someone $500 to put a tiny dump truck at the top of every page just isn’t going to cut it, ideally you would want someone like myself to review the resume. As a Shiftboss and part of the onsite hiring team, after looking at 1000’s of resumes over the years it doesn’t take long to see what stands out and gets the extra attention required to get an interview with the Foreman. Simply put, keep it incredibly simple. As part of the Do it Yourself course package, this includes fully detailed tips on getting the most out of your resume.

Problem 3

The last mistake people make is that they go into this thinking that the time required to get a job will only be days or at worst weeks. Experience shows that it will be in fact months, if not years. Of course there is always a person that gets a job within days of completing their mining education. I’ve seen it happen a number of times over the years but for every one that gets a job straight away I have seen dozens of people get their start around the 10month to one-year mark. It's almost like the mining gods are try to make them earn it.

That’s the truth though, if you decide to do this it’s going to be a long term project that you will have to invest money in yourself, with both your education and resume. Then you will have to spend a nerve-racking time sending out the resume to all the jobs that come up, this can end up taking hours per week depending on the jobs. Too many people give up far too early because they lose hope in what they are doing and just stop applying. Make sure that you give yourself and your dream a reasonable amount of time to work, if you have got your education and resume sorted then make sure you give yourself the time you need to apply before pulling the pin.

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